web analytics
July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Yitzhar’s Cinematic Moment

Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.

Demolition in the Samaria Jewish town of Yitzhar, April 2014.
Photo Credit: Flash 90

Rabbi Shneur Zalman coined the phrase, “living with the times” which means to live life in the light of the weekly Torah portion; and to see it as an indicator for all that happens to us throughout the week—both on a personal and national level. Thus, while some headlines may take effort to source in the weekly Torah portion, the recent story of police disguised as IDF in Yitzhar was relatively easy.

This Shabbat we will read the Torah portion of Shlach which recounts the sin of the spies. The lesson for us today is when scouting out an area within the Land of Israel, we need to be careful how we respond to what we see. This is especially so during the week of the Torah portion of Shlach.

In our recent reenactment of the story, before the ‘spies’ could even return from their ‘report,’ the ruse was discovered. To capture the storyline using modern terminology, the drama became a comedy and the ‘audience’ who witnessed this event unfold started to laugh.

The intention is not that the police should become a ‘laughing stock,’ but that we should all view this event as an opportunity to take stock, and laugh from the great delight achieved in rectifying the sin of the spies. Thus our hope is that the police will also desire to turn the drama into a comedy. That both police and residents, and the entire Jewish nation, will soon laugh together in friendship and camaraderie.

Show Business

The spies’ mistake was that they interpreted what they saw and they over-dramatized what they thought was negative. Moshe sent them to see the Land of Israel and to report back only what they had seen (nothing more nothing less).

Initially, the spies may have gazed at the land with their right eye and see it for what it was—a land of milk and honey, overflowing with the abundance of God’s blessings. But, they also chose to gaze at the land with the power of their left eye—they chose to interpret their findings. The metaphoric images used by the spies to describe the military strength of the Canaanite inhabitants of the land are some of the most powerful in the entire Torah. The spies said: “The land we explored devours its inhabitants. All the people we saw there are giants. We saw the Nephilim [strain of giants] there. We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

To undo the damage, we must first fix our left eye. In other words we must learn how to portray reality correctly and in a positive way. As the prophet Isaiah stated a few hundred years after the spies’ mission: “If you shall yearn for it [the Land of Israel] and hear [the word of God], then you shall eat the good of the land.” The last part of the verse—“then you shall eat the good of the land”—reflects the result of the final state of rectification when we shall merit to return to our holy land and enjoy its bounty, freely and without fear.

From Drama to Comedy

We mentioned that the spontaneous laughter that occurred after the ‘soldiers’ were discovered to be police should not be viewed as a reason to make the police into a laughing stock, but to provide for an opportunity for us all to take stock. But in addition to fostering a sense of friendship and camaraderie within the Jewish people, there is another thought to have in mind. That the laughter that results from transforming a drama into a comedy should lead to the ultimate joy of eating the “good of the land” freely and without fear.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and publishes his writings on InwardNews.com, a new site he co-founded.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Yitzhar’s Cinematic Moment”

  1. David Cohen says:

    Troll alert. They don’t even have the courage to show their faces. What a clown.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Arabs climb a section of Israel's separation barrier in the village of Al-Ram, as they try to avoid crossing Israeli-controlled checkpoints to reach the al-Aqsa mosque compound at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City to attend Friday prayers in the fasting month of Ramadan.
Arab Killed in Rock Attack on IDF Commander, IDF Soldier Hurt at Qalandiya
Latest Indepth Stories
United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

ISIS leads captured Egyptian Copts in death march.

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Skateboard king at Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva in Jerusalem

I envision a Kiruv approach perceiving a world filled with Godliness instead of issues to be avoided

Whereas we didn’t expect much from HarperCollins, we need to expect more from ourselves.

What does it mean “to fight as a Jew”? Fighting with the power of voice, the “voice of Jacob.”

San Francisco schools transformed by power of daily meditation,successfully reducing school violence

Pop culture teaches “thought creates reality;” Chassidut: “Divinity’s a given,reality’s a novelty”

“Deliberance” means to be inspired by “hearing the great shofar blast” ushering the Redemption

There is no difficulty today recognizing the “doubled and redoubled” darkness of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/yitzhars-cinematic-moment/2014/06/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: